The title of this post, and all text under the headers “Article” and “Credits,” was written by Rick Von Linsowe who also approved the use of his article by Beyond Injury. To the best of my knowledge, Duracell is owned by Proctor & Gamble.
In 1998, when I found myself in a nursing home with a Traumatic Brain Injury it was hard to find positive in my negative situation. I was a young man lost in drugs and alcohol. I had fallen outside my residence and had a massive hematoma (blood clot) crushing my brain. I was rushed to the hospital and had an emergency right frontal craniotomy.
At the age of 22, I found my new residence to be a nursing home in a sea of people who were much older than me. Anger was my go to emotion, because I didn’t know any other way to express myself. I was mad at everyone around me and didn’t want to come to the conclusion that my circumstances were because of my actions. Soon, I found that keeping busy was my outlet. The way I found to express myself was to keep moving physically and mentally. This allowed positive thinking without focusing on my negative circumstances.
In the beginning stages after my injury, I was in occupational, physical, and speech therapy which took up a big block of my time, but I found I needed more to keep me going. I watched movies and played memory games with myself to try and remember more from the movie than when I watched it the day before. I played tic-tac-toe with other residents of the nursing home. I attended any activity possible to keep me busy and to stop my mind from thinking negatively.
Sometimes, after my therapy sessions, I would practice throwing a ball against the wall to get motion in my arm and movement in my hand. I found that the busier I became the less negativity I focused on. I couldn’t complain or find time to be angry during my busy time, because I was working on self-improvement. After using so much energy every day, I needed naps. Naps help me regenerate and store up energy for more busy time.
As my mind became stronger I started taking advantage of resources in the community to continue improving myself. I participated in a vocational rehabilitation program that helped me learn how to complete everyday living tasks again. I learned how to do my own laundry, cook, drive a vehicle, and start college all through my local vocational rehabilitation program. These were free benefits available from the state of Arizona. I found that I may look disabled; however, I was capable of accomplishing everything I could prior to my brain injury.
It all began with taking each day slowly and finding the positive in the most negative situation. In the mornings I would ask staff to push my wheelchair and take me for a walk. I would enjoy my morning cup of coffee and start each day fresh being thankful for having a second chance at life.
In summary, survivors of traumatic brain injury often find it hard to be positive, because of the negative circumstances surrounding them. Remember to start slow and find something new each day that keeps you busy or occupied. Brain injured individuals need mental and physical stimulation. This can be done by exercising areas that need work and playing memory or thinking games. Anger can be redirected by doing positive to better yourself. Brain injury is a journey. Find positive to add in your journey and take the negative out as often as possible.
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If you have any stories to share about your recovery journey, please let me know in the comment box below this post.
After suffering an alcohol and drug related brain injury in 1998, and being confined to a wheelchair, Rick Von Linsowe, MS, CPC decided not to let his injury define him and worked every day to get his life back on track. Rick has overcome anger and depression and works on making each day positive. Today Rick is a Motivational Speaker, a Behavior Therapist, and a Certified Professional Coach who specializes in coaching clients who have suffered injury to overcome their circumstances, meet their goals, and live a life beyond their wildest dreams. Please read Rick’s full story on his website www.rejuvenatelifecoaching.com or like his Facebook page and connect with him at www.facebook.com/rejuvenatelifecoaching.